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Old 03-17-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
econsatty
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2000 SC1
Default '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

What car would you pick up if your Saturn was gone?

I've been a fan of the forum for a while. I have read countless threads, shared experiences and asked for some advice. I love the enthusiasm of the Saturn-owner crowd. I have poured time, money and a hair line (due to hair pulling, I'm sure...) into my 2000 Saturn SC1. I loved that car and it returned the favor. But now, my Satty has finally bowed out.

Recently with the Saturn, I found white foamy residue on the oil filler cap, and my coolant level suddenly dropped. I found rust on the oil check stick--unusual for what should be a water-free oil chamber. I recently experienced a loss in power and the fuel consumption rate became much higher. I took it to my trusted mechanic (the kind you don't expect to charge you for rags or when they need money on the books). He gave me a few options: try a miracle-in-a-can head gasket fix, replace the engine or find a new car.

I have never found any automotive fix in a can to be worth the $11.45 they ask, so option number one was useless. Option number two I seriously considered, but a newer/rebuilt engine in a car over a decade old would be the cost of a healthy down payment on a newer car.

In a year, I had already bought a new alternator, starter, battery, tires and recently, new interior carpeting. I fixed everything that was broken--including a defective open door sensor (so the lights would turn on when I open the door). I loved that car to the point of obsession. But when the head gasket started to go after all that attention, I felt betrayed.

So, I was on the market for a new-to-me small, sporty car. With high gas prices and a high demand market, I didn't find much. Most dealers had a slew of midsize sedans and small SUV's. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a 2011 Mazda3. It isn't my Saturn, but the steering is quick and feels just as good. The acceleration is great, but I miss the low-end torque of the Saturn. The amenities are ample but the trunk is much higher and isn't as spacious.

It will eventually become "my" car--and not seem like an extended rental car. Until then, I still miss the Satty.

I'm curious what other loyal Saturn owners would buy.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:59 AM   #2
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1999 SC2
Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

Sorry to hear it :-/ Was it not worth a rebuild though?

Love my Satty, but need the utility of something larger...looking forward to purchasing a Tacoma sometime this year while they can still be had with a manual transmission.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:12 AM   #3
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1999 SL2
1992 SC
Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

I waited 2 1/2 years due to shortage of funds to replace my 97 Saturn lost in a hit and run. I drove our huge 1500HD crew cab at 9mpg for those years and our Sprinter passenger Van (a nightmare of problems), but 20mpg.

I wish I had done a lot of things different with the insurance and dealing with the accident. If I had, I would have probably had the $4000 then to replace my Saturn.

So, last month I finally found a Saturn worth buying and did. $2500. Once a Saturn owner (if the car was not a lemon), always a Saturn owner. They just are good cars and easy on repairs. I've done nearly all maintenance and repairs myself (not something most women can say).

I've driven a Mazda5, I think. I liked it, it certainly had the "zoom-zoom" and auto/manual paddle shift is like my Sprinter, but with power. However, after putting 4 kids in the vehicle with book bags, there was no room for groceries. At least in the Saturn, I can put 4 kids in it, book bags in the truck and groceries still fit.

In my 97, I had 3 carseats across the back, granted I had to lean the seat out to buckle the child in and then push the door shut, but they fit!
...
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

I have already decided that if something were to happen to mine, I will strictly limit myself to the Saturn S-series. Yeah, I'm a fanboy, but....
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

I still have my Saturn and still running great. But I decided to go ahead and purchase my 'next' car anyway knowing that the Saturn will most likely start having more 'bad' days. I did get a 2013 Mazda 3 hatchback (with the Skyactic powertrain). It is rated at 39 MPG highway. I'm hoping that after it is broken in, I will get better MPG than the Saturn - right now it is about the Same as the Saturn. The computer shows me getting MPG in the high 40s when I'm driving at 60 MPH on level, smooth roads.
...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:37 PM   #6
econsatty
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2000 SC1
Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

It was a sad day when I had to clean everything out of my car. I asked if I could keep the owners' manual. It still had the business cards from the dealer, the half-completed service schedule and tons of dog eared pages.

The Mazda was a decent choice moving from the SC1. It is also a 5-speed, a little goofy looking and fun to drive. One more door is ok, but I miss the gawks and questions when I would open the rear suicide door.

As far as handling my own repairs, I don't know how much I can do on this engine. The throttle is drive-by-wire, the spark plugs are underneath their own coils and the steering is a hydraulic/electric hybrid. Even the oil changes might prove too difficult as there is a big under body shroud.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:03 PM   #7
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2002 SL2
Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by econsatty View Post
.The throttle is drive-by-wire, the spark plugs are underneath their own coils and the steering is a hydraulic/electric hybrid. Even the oil changes might prove too difficult as there is a big under body shroud.
Don't know about the throttle being an issue in cars. We'll see. The spark plugs? Haven't looked that close, but they seem easy enough for me. The oil change on the 2013 has a small opening that you can remove (separate from the body shroud), much easier than changing the oil in the s-series. Just like any car, you just have to learn the new tricks. You'll be fine.
...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

Easy. Another Saturn.

In fact, I just did exactly that. My '95 is getting handed down to my son who's a junior in HS, so I needed to buy myself a replacement grocery-getter and errand car. I wanted something as reliable, efficient, and easy to maintain as my '95 has been for the past seven years, only something a little newer and with fewer miles so it can be around long enough to maybe get handed down someday, too.

So after weeks and months of sifting through ads, this weekend I bought an '02 SL2. It's even the same option package and color as my '95, only seven years younger. If it gives the same steady service over the next several years as the '95 has, I'll be happy.

In the meantime, I also have a Town and Country, a Mustang, and a motorcycle in the garage for pleasure use, multiple people hauling, utility trailer towing, or home improvement store heavy lifting as needed. Although a Satty will remain my every day, efficient, go-to vehicle, unfortunately there's really no single vehicle that can fill every niche.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

If the Satty has to go, a Subaru Outback. A very different vehicle but it has a loyal following, good reliability, and reasonable MPG for a larger vehicle. The AWD and high ground clearance is a plus.

I tended to use my SL2 much like I would have a compact pick-up or SW (often removing the passenge seat for weeks at a time for more cargo space). Thus the move to a larger cargo space.

Working on the Satty was a joy, if you like to or need to work on your cars. I was reaching the point where I needed to do the rings (using too much oil at last), and just did not have the time to do it. Not to mention pressure from the spouse - she did not enjoy driving it while I worked on her car (a LeSabre - taking it off line for a week to do the LIM gaskets was the last straw for her).

I believe the SL2 is now a project car at a local high school automotive shop class. A worthy end I guess - but I do miss it.

Last edited by DonP; 03-18-2013 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:41 PM   #10
Beachbaby902
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

i'm handing down my 00' Sl2 to my aunt to replace her 94' Sl2 that got hit by a tree.

I'm taking over payments on a 03' PT Cruiser with 62k Then if im not completely happy i'll trade the PT in for a Honda Fit.
...
~My Running Saturns~
94' SL2 130,000 miles RIP (Tree hit it)
00' SW2 170,000 miles
00' SL2 280,000 miles
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

Got my Grand Marquis, so I'm happy

If I did replace the Saturn with a new vehicle, both it and the GM would go towards a new MV-1 or Suburban. Otherwise, another Satty (preferably stick shifting), a small truck (also preferably stick shifting), or a Suburban (preferably diesel).
...
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:12 PM   #12
Banjoman
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1998 SL2
Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

I considered a new car before I bought my '98 SL2, but I just didn't like the idea of a monthly payment.

Later on I might go for a Chevy Cruze Eco with the 6 speed manual. I have rented a couple of Cruzes with the auto tranny, and I was impressed, especially how QUIET they are. The Satty has a lot of road noise.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

^^^ Ditto. If I were to have to purchase a new car, it would have to be a Cruze Eco with the 6-speed. If ONLY to show support for a manual transmission in a new American vehicle...
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

I bought a Cruze Eco for the wife with the 6spd manual trans.

She loves it, I love it. Really nice car for the $$, great mpg, good ride, quite, and comfortable.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:43 AM   #15
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

My car is irreplaceable.... however, if it were totalled, I would replace mine with another SW2.
...
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1993 SW2 MT 208,000 hard Boston city miles ("Rozzie")
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:54 AM   #16
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

I was in a similar situation in the beginning of January. I had a 99 Saturn SL1 with new tires and a lot of other new parts, but at the very end of December, I blew the head gasket.

I was able to drive the car for a week and a half, but then I was unable to get the car started anymore. A compression test pretty much confirmed that it was a head gasket.

I looked on Craigslist and found another 99 Saturn SL1 for just $785 that had bad tires, a bad EGR, and a couple of other parts that were all easy to replace. There were just a couple parts that I had to buy new, such as an intake manifold gasket, and then I got $325 when I junked my old Saturn.

This was a lot cheaper than buying a different model car.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

Another Saturn or a Hyundai Tiburon.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:10 AM   #18
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1999 SC1
Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by econsatty View Post
I've been a fan of the forum for a while. I have read countless threads, shared experiences and asked for some advice. I love the enthusiasm of the Saturn-owner crowd. I have poured time, money and a hair line (due to hair pulling, I'm sure...) into my 2000 Saturn SC1. I loved that car and it returned the favor. But now, my Satty has finally bowed out.

...
I loved that car to the point of obsession.

...I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a 2011 Mazda3.
WOW econ, I just got goosebumps - you sound like me!! (minus pouring a hair line into my Satty... I have an abundance of hair on my head, thank goodness) I'm nearly at the same point you got to though, and my car is a year older. I've put so much time/money/frustration into it, and even though I've saved a lot of money fixing things myself, the transmission is kicking it even after a rebuild, fuel consumption is worsening, and it's been stalling lately, plus things are just falling apart on it and my seatbelt looks like it got chewed up by a wild animal... but I still love it unconditionally! It's so great to hear you got a Mazda3 because that's exactly what I'm on the hunt for, though I'm looking at the hatchbacks, I just love the look of them. I'm thinking about a 2010... how much did your 2011 run you? I'm nervous because I've never had a car payment... I paid $4,000 for my Saturn back in '05 from the owner, and it got me a loooong way!
...
1999 SC1 "Oracle" - a little handicapped, but still gets around :P
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:13 AM   #19
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1999 SC1
Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

I might add that I was also seriously considering the Hyundai Veloster, but due to it's "newness" and recent claims that Hyundai basically lied about its fuel economy, I ditched that idea, although the thought of having a third door reincarnated was highly tempting...
...
1999 SC1 "Oracle" - a little handicapped, but still gets around :P
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Plastic > Rust
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: '00 SC1 R.I.P. -- What car would you replace your Saturn with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by econsatty View Post
What car would you pick up if your Saturn was gone?
a 2013 subaru wrx. already done, tho...


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